Travel Magazine

Sightseeing Sundays: Vienna (Europe Part 5 of 6)

By Shawndrarussell
Upfront I am going to tell you that Vienna was our least favorite city. It was more polished, snobby, expensive, and just, well, not old and classic like the rest of Europe! That being said, when you absolutely love every other city, liking Vienna a little less still equals a great time. We were really flustered when we arrived--it was just one of those days that things were just not going our way. We were cranky, tired, and had to lug our bags around for a few hours before we could check in to our hotel. The self-guided trolley guide from our Rick Steves' Europe was outdated (but this was honestly the only letdown of the whole book!), and we tried to find a beer garden by walking pretty much at a 90 degree steep hill, winding up in a scary part of town with no clue where we were.
But not all was lost.
We ended up stumbling upon a little wine/beer garden right by our hostel that was just completely amazing--one of the best meals of the trip! And the hostel was fabulous. I didn't know what to expect, but it was clean, comfortable, and not grungy or hippie like I had envisioned. The only catch was the we stayed in bunk beds, but they actually provided some really cute picture moments! 
The next day we had much better luck. We cabbed up to the highest point of Vienna to the Rauhenstein Castle ruins  that also included an old, abandoned monastery (they use to make their own beer as many of the monasteries did and do--we were sad to see it not open!). With 360 degree views for miles, this was a postcard experience that could never be captured on film or art. As we walked back down, we stopped at various wine and beer gardens and a monastery that was OPEN and made their own very bubbly beer along the way, each one beautiful, fun, and delicious.  To cap it off, we stopped at Mayer am Pfarrplatz, better known as Beethovenhaus where Beethoven actually lived and composed one of his symphonies. Truly an amazing day.

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